Many business owners admit to fearing sales. The thought of selling their goods and services is enough to make them break into a cold sweat.
If you’re scared of sales, pause for a moment and think about what a sale is. At its core, a sale is an agreement between two people. One person agrees to supply goods or services. The other person agrees to buy the goods or services, for an agreed price.
The very heart of sales is an agreement between two people. Sometimes we’ve forgotten the power of personal contact. Listening to clients, making time for them, providing solutions to their problems – these things never go out of fashion. Yes – that’s right! People buy from people.
Next time you’re at a function and you meet a potential client, remember that they are a person first, and a potential client second. Take the time to understand their story. Listen to their pain points. Have one or two good sentences (your elevator pitch!) that you can say about your business. Then, suggest a coffee catch up. They’ll probably say yes!
Why? In experience, it’s a rare man or woman who says ‘no’ to a suggestion to catch up for coffee. When two people sit down over a cup of coffee (or tea), they relax. Even the person who says, ‘I’m happy with my current supplier’ will often say ‘Yes’ to a coffee catch up. When you’re sitting having coffee, relaxing, you might just discover more of their pain points.
You might not realise it, but you’re already starting the sales journey together. Whether they buy from you now or in the future, that person you’re having coffee with is evaluating whether they’d like to deal with you. That’s right – you, as a person.
Think of sales as an opportunity to meet some great people, learn more about them, and then to share how you can help them.
As Zig Ziglar says ‘Stop selling. Start helping’. Focus on how you can help people. Any fear of sales will soon go – all you’re doing is helping people to understand the options available to them. Your sales will just naturally ‘close’ if you focus on helping those ideal clients.
Yes - People buy from people. We love how that still works!
The best sales breakthrough tool ever encountered is good old-fashioned follow up. This holds true whether we’re talking social selling, combination selling, face to face selling, telephone selling.
These interesting statistics from the National Sales Executive Association regularly go around LinkedIn:
48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect
25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop
12% of salespeople make more than three contacts
2% of sales are made on the first contact
3% of sales are made on the second contact
5% of sales are made on the third contact
10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
When I checked closely, I could not find any real information about the National Sales Executive Association. One writer says - this association has been made up! Even so - from the range of sales situations Magnify has been involved in, these statistics are surprisingly accurate for most businesses. In some industries, you may need even more contact points before a sale is confirmed.
Some clients like to dialogue via email. Some clients appreciate telephone calls or perhaps a Zoom meeting. Still others appreciate timely follow up via a LinkedIn message. Increasingly, clients appreciate a combination of all our sales tools.
It doesn’t matter how you follow up – just do it! From these statistics, we can see that the bulk of sales are won not necessarily by the best company, but by the company whose salespeople follow up consistently.
Is there heavy competition in your industry? Blitz the competition by creating and maintaining great sales follow up processes.
Consistent follow up shows our prospective clients far more than we can imagine. We demonstrate client commitment, we build trust, we show sincerity. When we space our follow up contact appropriately, we give respect. Ultimately, we connect as people.
We have so many tools available now, it’s easy to become distracted and let the tools do the talking for us.
What I’ve personally found over my many years of sales is that, in the end, it’s not about the tools. When I began my sales career, I thought it was about which salesperson had the best, glossiest brochures. Now, we could be tempted to think that it’s about who has the best website.
Don’t get me wrong – those things are certainly important ways that our prospective clients validate our high-value offerings. We need to remember that they are just tools. It's the one who holds the tool who decides just how effectively the tool is used.
Sometimes we’ve forgotten the power of personal contact. Listening to clients, making time for them, providing solutions to their problems – these things never go out of fashion. Yes – that’s right! People buy from people. We love how that still works!
Getting people and businesses excited about Sales.